Like it or not, the Pistons are playing the Pacers again, starting tonight at the Palace. So listen up, because these are the rules:
1. If you can drink it, you can’t throw it.
2. Popcorn goes in your mouth.
3. It’s a buzzer, not a boxing bell.
5. If a player lies on the scorer’s table, give him a break: Maybe he’s tired.
6. Ron Artest is not playing. There’s no reason to scream at him.
7. It’s a ticket, not a hunting license.
8. It’s a hot dog, not a missile.
9. Be nice with your ice.
10. Be like Yoda with your soda.
11. Just because Kid Rock is there doesn’t mean it’s time to get rowdy.
12. Don’t yell anything that rhymes with yuck.
13. These NBA guys are really big; only the truly ignorant would take a swing at them.
If you can’t say anything nice …
15. TV media: If you show that fight footage more than once, you’re being indulgent.
16. Print media: If you ask that fight question more than once, you’re being indulgent.
17. National media: If the only things you can say about Detroit involve the words “violence,” “police cars” or “couch fire,” stay home.
18. Rick Carlisle: Crack a smile. It’ll help.
19. Fans: All chairs must be returned to their full upright position upon departure.
20. In other words, don’t throw them.
21. Paper products are recyclable.
22. In other words, don’t throw them.
23. It takes time to brew beer.
24. In other words, don’t throw it.
25. Tonight’s game is not “American Idol”: The goal is not to get your face on television.
26. Thomas (Hitman) Hearns comes to the Palace. And if he can’t throw a punch, you certainly can’t.
28. Remember that Jermaine O’Neal is actually a decent fellow.
29. And just because Reggie Miller said something is no reason to hate it.
30. OK. Maybe it is. But don’t.
31. If your attitude is “Aw, those cops at the Palace are fat and slow,” stay away.
32. Keep your coins in your pocket.
33. Yes, people toss pizzas, but that is up in the air while they’re being made.
34. Do not bring an octopus.
If you can eat it or drink it, don’t throw it
35. Ben Wallace: Count to 10.
36. Stephen Jackson: Think twice.
37. Larry Brown: If the game is decided, get your stars off the floor immediately.
38. Don’t yell anything that rhymes with brass mole.
39. Did we mention no Coke throwing?
40. That goes for Diet Coke, too.
41. Unless a coach puts you in, you are not — and this is important — part of the game.
42. “Melee” is not a good word, even if it is French.
43. Same goes for “tete-a-tete.”
44. You may not throw candy.
45. You may not throw peanuts.
46. You may not throw Cracker Jack — and that includes the prize.
47. You may throw hosannas at a player’s feet, if you can find a hosanna.
48. David Gorcyca is the Oakland County prosecutor.
49. You will not like him. He knows lots of four-letter words. One of them is “jail.”
50. Don’t be macho with your nachos.
51. Don’t be wise with your fries.
52. Don’t be loose with your juice.
53. Drink responsibly, act respectably, keep your curse words to yourself.
54. And, oh yeah, have fun.
Contact MITCH ALBOM at 313-223-4581 or email@example.com”